Showcasing history for contemporary travelers

Ranjit’s Svaasa in Amritsar is a fine example of the experience a heritage homestay should provide guests

Amolak Singh Grewal

There’s nothing better than finding yourself on vacation, waking up after a good night’s sleep in a palatial estate that exudes a rejuvenating warmth in the air. “Over the years, so many of our guests have complimented us on the quality of sleep that they have experienced here, including a gentleman whose wife was diagnosed with insomnia,” beams Rama Ranjit Mehra, the matriarch behind Svaasa in Amritsar. A lover of nature and a qualified architect, the soon-to-be 64 year old has so much more than what meets the eye that she can give most millennials a run for their money when it comes to her energy and her dedication.

Nestled in a now booming urbane Amritsar downtown, Svaasa is a heritage homestay that was part of a much larger complex of the Mehra estate. Nevertheless, even on its own Svaasa is a spacious mansion with a charming amount of greenery and history. The size, the architecture, the coziness, the fact that it’s like a nest of nature — every aspect comes together and will fool you into forgetting that one of Amritsar’s busiest roads is right down the lane.

Often, homestays have personal touches that are eye-catching, charming and narrate a story. Walk inside Svaasa and the entrance corridor greets you with over two centuries of history presented in pictures and documents that not only narrate the incredible turn of events the walls have been witness to, but also fascinate you for hours to an end. From clothing worn by an ancestor over a hundred years ago, to an ancient document commending the family and much more – the heritage is well preserved and proudly on display.

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